Clean air is required to maintain human health and air pollution is a big environmental issue. The air we breathe impacts our well-being and is critical to supporting the amenity of everyone.
While Australia’s air quality is generally very good, there are ongoing challenges. Some pollutants such as particulate matter and ozone still exceed national ambient air quality standards in built up areas, and concerns over industrial emissions still affect many communities.
Environmental consultants play a vital role in maintaining air quality and addressing the impacts of air pollution on human health. One way environmental scientists help monitor air quality is by assessing the performance of businesses in achieving environmental approvals, and managing their ongoing operations and compliance with regulations designed to keep the community safe from air pollutants.
Atmospheric scientists with experience in air quality consulting, odour measurement, dust and odour impact assessments understand the key air quality issues faced by businesses and how best to provide solutions that meet the expectations of environmental regulators and the community.
This can require the monitoring of air quality in the workplace and gas sample laboratory analyses including soil vapour assessments; meteorological monitoring, modelling and data analysis; air and odour dispersion modelling and impact assessment and the clear and concise reporting and communication of complex ideas and outcomes, to government regulators and community stakeholders.
An example of this kind of work in action is shown in the video below, where Melbourne based environmental consulting company Atma Environmental demonstrate the application of soil vapour testing, to measure the seeping of volatile contaminants present in soil or groundwater, into the atmosphere, which is particularly dangerous in buildings and enclosed spaces. If these toxic chemicals are not identified and mitigation or clean up managed, people suffering from prolonged exposure can aquire chronic health problems or terminal illnesses.
Consulting environmental scientists can identify actions that can be taken to deliver strategic approaches to address air quality, and one area where this is particularly relevant is in the development of systems to maintaining air quality in industrial, mining and manufacturing environments.
In these circumstances environmental consultants specialising in the design, use, deployment and monitoring of air quality systems to control dust, fumes and other toxic air pollutants in workplace environments.
One example of this is the use of materials extraction systems which use industrial ducting components to build Fume extraction, dust extraction, and dust collection systems, which keep employees safe when they are working in environments which are potentially hazardous air conditions.